In the Footsteps of St Paul, Pilgrimage to Greece
Led by Stella Kearns and Our lady & St George's Parish, London. Travelling from Thessaloniki to Athens, 9th - 16th September 2019
DAY ONE: Gatwick - Thessaloniki
We shall fly by British Airways scheduled service from Gatwick to Thessaloniki and, on arrival, transfer to Capsis Hotel (4-star), for a three-night stay. Thessaloniki is the second city of Greece a thriving, modern metropolis which is rich in history. The Christian community here was among the very first which St Paul established in Europe in the late 40s AD and it was to that community that he wrote the two letters that are part of the New Testament. Dinner will be in our hotel this evening.
DAY TWO: Thessaloniki
This morning we have a guided tour of Thessaloniki which will include the Basilica of St Demetrius and the city walls built by Theodosius in the 4th century AD, the museum and remains of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great. Dinner will be in our hotel this evening.
DAY THREE: Philippi - Kavala
Today we shall drive to Philippi, where Paul was imprisoned. We shall visit the site of the prison where his jailer was converted, and the Roman Forum where Paul was arrested for his Christian faith, and also the river where Lydia was baptised (possibly the first baptism in Europe) and the Orthodox Church dedicated to her. We shall then drive south to Kavala (Neapolis), the seaport where Paul landed in Macedonia. After lunch there will be some time free to explore this picturesque town before returning to Thessaloniki. Paul preached in the synagogue of Thessaloniki for three Sabbaths and Acts 16 recounts that he and Silas were joined by some Jews and also by a great many God-fearing Greeks. However, others were full of resentment and stirred up a crowd, hoping to bring Paul and Silas before the People's Assembly. But Paul and Silas escaped and went to Veria (Berea in Acts 17). Return to Thessaloniki in the late afternoon. Dinner will be in our hotel this evening.
DAY FOUR: Day at leisure in Thessaloniki - Delphi
This morning will be at leisure in Thessaloniki. We transfer to Delphi in the afternoon. We make a visit to the Meteora Monasteries in Kalabaka before checking into our hotel for dinner and a two-night stay.
DAY FIVE: Delphi
This morning we visit the stadium, amphitheater, Temple of Apollo and the museum. People came from far and wide to consult the oracle at Delphi, hence the place now has both a great religious and political influence. Dinner will be in our hotel this evening.
DAY SIX: Delphi - Athens
This morning we transfer from Delphi to Athens where we check into our hotel for a two-night stay. After lunch, we visit St Dionysios Cathedral. We then drive to Mars Hill and on to the Acropolis where we have a guided tour of the Parthenon and the other monuments. The Acropolis represents the apotheosis of artistic development in the 5th century BC, the Golden Age of Pericles. From the Acropolis we shall move to the magnificent new Parthenon Museum where we can refresh ourselves in the elegant café overlooking the Acropolis before visiting the exhibits. One floor is dedicated to a reconstruction of the frieze of the Parthenon. In the early evening we plan to meet in the hotel and to take the funicular to the top of Mount Lycavittos, the highest point in Athens, where we can take an aperitif whilst watching the sun set over the Saronic Gulf. Dinner will be in our hotel this evening.
DAY SEVEN: Athens - Corinth - Athens
Today, we shall make an excursion to the ancient site of Corinth where Paul spent eighteen months preaching to the Corinthians, and to whom he later wrote the two letters that are part of the New Testament. During his stay he met with Jewish refugees from Rome. Paul sought out two of them, Aquila and Prisca, because they were tentmakers like him and they became business associates. Aquila and Prisca also became key leaders of the young Christian church. Inevitably he offended some of the Jewish community who brought him before Gallio, the Pro-Consul of the Roman Province of Achaia, who refused to hear the charge. On the way to Corinth we shall stop in the café adjacent to the Corinth Canal for a photo opportunity. We visit the Temple of Apollo, the Agora and the Bema (Tribunal) where Paul was accused. Return to Athens in the late afternoon. Dinner will be in our hotel this evening.
DAY EIGHT: Athens - Gatwick
On our final morning in Athens, there will be time at leisure, before we transfer to Athens Airport for our return flight to Gatwick by easyJet.
This tour involves a substantial amount of walking, some of which will be over irregular surfaces such as cobblestones and badly-maintained walking areas. If everyday walking is something you find difficult, this tour may be unsuitable for you.
This itinerary is a guide and subject to change.
Single Room Supplement: £199
09/09/19 - 16/09/19
Scheduled flights on: British Airways Gatwick - Thessaloniki, easyJet Athens - Gatwick. Current U.K. and Greece airport departure taxes. 23 kg luggage allowance per person. 7 nights in shared twin or double-bedded rooms with private facilities as follows: 9th - 12th Sept, Capsis Hotel (or similar), Thessaloniki. 12th - 14th Sept, Palace Hotel, Delphi. 14th - 16th Sept, Cypria Hotel, Athens. Meal plan: 7 breakfasts and 7 dinners. All touring and transfers by air-conditioned coach as per the itinerary. Guided tours by fully licensed English-speaking guide as per the itinerary. Entrance fees as per the itinerary. Masses will be said throughout the week. ATOL and ABTA financial protection.
Single room supplement at £199 per person for 7 nights (limited availability). Catering during the flights. Lunches, one dinner, drinks and gratuities. Fuel surcharges if passed on by the airlines. U.K. coach transfers.
Terms of Payment:
Deposit of £250 per person on booking with a completed booking form. Final payment is due 10 weeks before departure date.
The tour price of £978 is guaranteed until 31st March 2019. Any further bookings may be subject to a flight surcharge.